For years the terms ‘defenceless’ and ‘weak’ were synonymous with femininity… However, there is a new generation of young African women that embody the words – strength, determination, passion, drive and dedication.
This women’s month we pay tribute to thousands of women that marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956, in protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women. Since that eventful day, women from all spheres of life have proved that they are capable of achieving anything they want to. In that same spirit of celebration, I – on behalf of Live Magazine – have compiled a list of South Africa’s top 6 most influential Women. These are women who are strong , fiercely independent and have become an inspiration to “other” young women to strive for success.
1. Lerato Mbele. This is definitely a woman who possesses stunning beauty and the incomparable intelligence to hold it down alongside any man. She began her journalism career in 1999 at South Africa’s state-owned broadcaster the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and is currently a presenter at BBC World News’ Africa Business Report. Her tremendous work has given her the opportunity to host a variety of business-focused programming and specials, including presidential debates and the live CNBC Africa Debate at the World Economic Forum in Africa in 2009. She is a true inspiration for millions of African women.
2. If the quote “behind every successful man, there a successful woman too” were to take on a human form, it would be Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe. She is the Executive Chairperson of Africa Fashion International (AFI) – a company that promotes fashion designers from Africa as well as the enterprise development of the fashion industry. Above all, it is her passion and drive that has earned her my admiration.
3. At the tender age of 23, Rapelang Rabana has the world at her feet. She is the founder of Yeigo Communications – an innovative communications software development company based in Cape Town. Her dedication serves as both an inspiration to and proof the fact that being a successful entrepreneur only takes hard-work. Rapelang has also been featured in numerous South African print publications such as O Magazine, Financial Mail, Destiny, Finance Week, Sunday Times, Business Report and Fair Lady. She holds a Bachelor in Business Science degree in Computer Science and Finance from the University of Cape.
4. Politics in not a field for sissies, and that is why I commend the women who are involved in the field. It takes a strong woman to stand up for herself and what she believes in despite all the resistance to her stance. Cue former Democratic Alliance Parliamentary Leader: Lindiwe Mazibuko. Her strong work ethic stands out from the political crowd… So much so that Lindiwe was included in Forbes’ Young Power Women list for 2013.
5. Famed for the insane amount of gold medals that she won at the 2004 Paralympic and Commonwealth Games; Natalie du Toit is evidence that disability does not mean inability. Despite losing her leg, Natalie did not give up on her dreams. The way that her strength and competitive spirit she has inspired many to overcome their adversity is certainly worthy of commendation.
6. DJ Zinhle has fought to become one of South Africa’s most recognised Queens of house music. Being able to turn-heads in a male-dominated industry on the turntables has -without a doubt – earned DJ Zinhle a place in our top six. She has a refreshing spark about her that even comes across in her work. The 2014 O Magazine power list (21 African Women who are Rocking the World) paid tribute to DJ Zinhle for being one of the One of SA’s best female house DJs and actresses.
These 6 influential women are evidence that determination and passion is the root for success. And all women must strive to step out of their comfort zone and expand their knowledge and skills.
Sources: The O Magazine 2014 Power List (21 African Women Who are Rocking the World) and Forbes (20 Young Power Women in Africa).
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